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General Information

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The Library of Congress occupies three buildings on Capitol Hill. The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897) is the original separate Library of Congress building. (The Library began in 1800 inside the U.S. Capitol.) The John Adams Building was built in 1938 and the James Madison Memorial Building was completed in 1981. Other facilities include the High Density Storage Facility (2002) at Fort Meade, Md., and the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation (2007) in Culpeper, Va.

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Today's Library of Congress is an unparalleled world resource. The collection of more than 173 million items includes more than 51 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 75 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings.

Year 2021 at a Glance

In fiscal year 2021 (October 2020 to September 2021), the Library of Congress ...

Responded to more than 731,000 reference requests from Congress, the public and other federal agencies, including the direct use of Congressional Research Service reports;

Welcomed about 30,000 onsite visitors to its Capitol Hill campus and recorded more than 178.1 million visits and 617.7 million page views on the Library's web properties;

Issued 403,593 copyright registrations and recorded 11,625 documents containing more than 961,291 titles;

Circulated more than 21.5 million copies of braille, audio and large-print items to blind and print disabled patrons;

Circulated 154,505 physical items for use inside and outside the Library;

Performed approximately 2.2 million preservation actions on items in the Library’s physical collections, with an additional 3.4 million pages of materials prepared and shipped to vendors for preservation reformatting services;

Placed more than 7.5 million items under inventory control in its preservation facility at Fort Meade;

Recorded a total of 173,731.463 items in its collections, including:

  • more than 25.2 million cataloged books in the Library of Congress classification system
  • more than 15.7 million items in the nonclassified print collections, including books in large type and raised characters, incunabula (books printed before 1501), monographs and serials, music, bound newspapers, pamphlets, technical reports and other printed material
  • more than 132.7 million items in the nonclassified (special) collections, including:
    • 4.2 million audio materials (discs, tapes, talking books and other recorded formats)
    • 75.7 million manuscripts
    • 5.6 million maps
    • 17.5 million microforms
    • 1.9 million moving images
    • 8.2 million items of sheet music
    • 17.5 million visual materials
    • 2 million other items (including machine-readable items);

Employed 3,194 permanent staff members; and

Operated with a total budget authority of $802.1 million, including $757.3 million in appropriations and the additional authority to spend $44.8 million in offsetting receipts.